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International drug testing

Providing global access and expertise for international drug testing programs

Drug testing got its start in the United States in the late 1970s and early 1980s when the U.S. military began screening service members. By the late-1980s, the U.S. government was drug testing federal employees in “testing designated positions” – i.e. those with access to sensitive information or where drug use may pose a serious risk to national security, the public safety, and the effective enforcement of the law. The US Department of Transportation (DOT), responsible for helping to ensure safety in air travel, commercial motor vehicles, railroad transportation, mass transit, hazardous materials and maritime business began requiring drug testing of federally-regulated, safety-sensitive employees working in these areas. Drug testing at the federal level paved the way for private sector employers to begin workplace drug testing programs to screen applicants and employees.

In the United States, Quest Diagnostics operates federally-certified drug testing laboratories and leverages thousands of specimen collection sites to perform more than ten million urine, oral fluid and hair workplace drug tests each year.

Our laboratory footprint overseas is significant, but more frequently associated with clinical testing. That said, drug testing is becoming more prevalent by industries whose operations span the globe, such as energy, manufacturing and transportation. Our robust drug testing collection network and internal account management structures are built to provide solutions for drug testing both within and outside of the United States.   

Reasons for drug testing 

Substance abuse can compromise the integrity and stability of the workplace. Pre-employment drug testing can help enable employers to make informed decisions about prospective employees, thereby helping to prevent the hiring of individuals who use drugs.

  • Improve employee morale and productivity
  • Decrease absenteeism, accidents, downtime, turnover, and theft
  • Decreased the use of medical benefits
  • Lead to better health and safety among employees and family members  

Types of international drug testing collections 

Our facilities in the United States, Mexico and our laboratory provider in Australia provide reliable test collections and results with fast turnaround times. We provide a variety of specimen type options including: 

  • Urine testing – the most commonly used drug test specimen type in the United States
  • Oral fluid testing – easy-to-use collection system can be used in the presence of a monitor, thus reducing the likelihood of adulteration
  • Hair testing – a specimen type able to detect a pattern of repetitive drug use for up to 90 days

Drug testing can be a complex topic. 

Our international drug testing team can help you navigate common challenges including cultural differences in business etiquette, currency exchange, import/export customs, and logistics. 

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